STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN & MIKE WILLMAN – SUNDAY JUNE 24, 2018

  • O’NEILL, PRAT STEAM TO TAKE SPRING HONORS
  • THE BEAT GOES ON FOR BAFFERT AND JUSTIFY
  • APPRENTICE ESPINOZA A TEENAGE SENSATION
  • MASSIVE MANDATORY EXOTIC PAYOUTS TODAY 

O’NEILL & PRAT BRING LOFTY NUMBERS INTO CLOSING DAY

            Congratulations are in order for Doug O’Neill and Flavien Prat, as both have clinched titles in their respective categories.

O’Neill, who coming into today had saddled by far the most horses of any trainer, 136, through 40 racing days, enjoyed a five-length advantage over both Phil D’Amato and Peter Miller with 31 wins. O’Neill thus celebrates his seventh overall meet title at Santa Anita dating back to the 2004-05 Winter Meet. In the stakes-won category, O’Neill bagged a pair, two behind Bob Baffert’s leading total of four coming into closing day.

A 50-year-old native of Dearborn, Michigan, O’Neill relocated to Southern California with his family at age 10 and quickly developed a love for racing as a result of frequent pilgrimages to Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar with his late father and brothers.

Known for his unflagging optimism and approachable method of operation, O’Neill is always quick to defer credit to his owners and “Team O’Neill” members that include his brother Dennis and assistants Leandro Mora and Steve Rothblum.

As for Prat, a 25-year-old native of Melon, France, he continues to ascend the ranks of America’s top riders as he’s clinched his third Santa Anita riding title with 37 wins coming into today from 140 mounts–good for a lofty 26 percent win quotient and nine clear of Geovanni Franco’s 28 victories.

In the all-important stakes-won category, Prat also ranked first, with five added money wins, two clear of Victor Espinoza, Mike Smith, Joe Talamo, Franco and Gary Stevens.

Fluent in both French and English, Prat’s business is on the rise not just here in Southern California, but nationally as well, evidenced by the fact he and his agent, Derek Lawson, will be traveling to ride in New York full-time prior to the Del Mar opener on July 18.

Readily accessible, fiercely competitive, a great judge of pace and naturally light, Prat appears to have a limitless future.

BAFFERT SLEEPS EASY AFTER PARADING JUSTIFY

Basking in the afterglow of rock star treatment accorded Justify at Santa Anita yesterday, Bob Baffert was back on the beat Sunday morning, the throes of the Triple Crown sweep and its accompanying commitments standing in bold relief.

“I finally slept,” Baffert said. “I thought it was pretty cool, everybody really enjoyed him and they had a good crowd,” the Hall of Fame trainer said of Justify parading before his adoring fans prior to Baffert fielding a myriad of questions from ever-curious media members.

“Mike Smith signed all those autographs (on attractive posters depicting Justify’s victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, given to fans with paid admission). He must have signed 3,500 or something like that.”

As for Justify, Baffert is on record as saying he won’t publicly commit to the undefeated son of the late Scat Daddy’s next race until the chestnut colt has his first workout since winning the Belmont on June 9. He held firm on that Sunday.

Presently at his home base of Santa Anita, Baffert ultimately will head to Del Mar for the meet that starts July 18, and Justify “will go with me, wherever I go.” 

PUBLIC ASKED TO SUBMIT PICTURES WITH JUSTIFY

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is asking fans and horsemen to submit their personal photos with Triple Crown winner Justify for inclusion in a video montage to be shown during the 48th Annual Eclipse Awards ceremony next January.

Submissions can be made on Twitter by using the hashtag #JustifyandI or by tagging @NTRA or posting an image to the wall of the official NTRA page (Facebook.com/1NTRA).

The Eclipse Awards will be held Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

APPRENTICE ASA ESPINOZA ON FAST TRACK TO SUCCESS

Asa Espinoza is far and away the meet’s leading apprentice rider, and with 21 victories, is tied for fifth overall at the Spring Meet which ends today.

Not bad for an 18-year-old kid who doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet.

“He’s done really well for a guy who started from scratch here in February,” said his agent, Brian Beach, who also represents Asa’s uncle, Hall of Fame member Victor Espinoza.

“Usually it’s not advisable for an apprentice to start out at Santa Anita. Generally they come here with a couple hundred mounts under their belt, so from where he started to where he is now is remarkable.

“Victor’s helped him a lot, and Asa is good at listening to advice from veteran riders like Kent Desormeaux, Martin Pedroza and Tyler Baze who also have helped him.

“He still doesn’t have his driver’s license. He takes his test in two weeks.”

FINISH LINES: There are mandatory payouts today on the early and late Pick Five, the Pick Six, and the Super High Five. There is a massive Pick Six carryover of $821,858 and a guaranteed Late Pick Four pool of $500,000 . . .

Former jockey Jerry Truman was at Clocker’s Corner Sunday morning, fresh from Florida to visit his brother, trainer Eddie, and other family members. Like his 78-year-old sibling still an avid bicyclist, 71-year-old Jerry last rode in 1959 after being injured the year before, but memories of yesteryear remain fresh. “I rode with Shoe (Bill Shoemaker) and Eddie Arcaro,” Jerry recalled. “I remember riding at Washington Park and was down on the inside, and Arcaro didn’t want to let me get by him, but he did. “I wasn’t going to win the race,” he later told me, “because I didn’t have horse. But if I did, I wouldn’t have let you through.” . . .

Dept. of Good News: Longtime Santa Anita press box concierge and former boxer Cuco Talamantes, who has been sidelined for the past few months due to surgery and chemotherapy treatments, was a press box visitor yesterday and by all accounts, looked tremendous. Although he’s lost some weight, Talamantes vowed to be back on the job for the Autumn Meet in September . . . Despite rehabbing in the hospital after surgery on his left ankle, veteran turf writer Art Wilson of the Southern California News Group keeps up with the news through the Stable Notes and has been able to connect off-track on two longshots, Faversham ($36.40) and Michael Mundo ($25.60).

 

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current Through Saturday, June 23)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Flavien Prat 140 37 23 22 26% 59% $2,020,219
Geovanni Franco 177 28 27 19 16% 42% $1,336,070
Joseph Talamo 153 26 25 18 17% 45% $1,466,484
Mario Gutierrez 122 24 18 21 20% 52% $1,161,747
Asa Espinoza 162 21 19 27 13% 41% $670,244
Tiago Pereira 151 21 13 22 14% 37% $769,875
Drayden Van Dyke 116 20 20 16 17% 48% $1,160,040
Tyler Baze 146 17 31 15 12% 43% $966,700
Stewart Elliott 151 17 21 17 11% 36% $841,024
Martin Pedroza 116 17 18 15 15% 43% $584,393
Kent Desormeaux 102 15 10 24 15% 48% $1,040,245
Franklin Ceballos 118 14 11 9 12% 29% $427,643
Rafael Bejarano 88 11 13 9 13% 38% $693,199
Tyler Conner 123 10 21 23 8% 44% $553,664
Heriberto Figueroa 69 10 13 7 14% 43% $277,750
Kyle Frey 64 10 5 5 16% 31% $291,044
Trainer Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Doug O’Neill 136 31 28 21 23% 59% $1,543,442
Philip D’Amato 111 26 21 25 23% 65% $1,650,498
Peter Miller 120 26 15 19 22% 50% $1,187,629
Richard Baltas 99 16 16 12 16% 44% $830,943
Jerry Hollendorfer 80 14 9 9 18% 40% $821,811
John Sadler 92 11 24 15 12% 54% $988,196
Bob Baffert 48 11 9 8 23% 58% $946,996
Vladimir Cerin 50 11 6 7 22% 48% $379,506
Mark Glatt 62 10 8 3 16% 34% $396,235
David Jacobson 50 10 6 6 20% 44% $258,330
Peter Eurton 54 10 4 9 19% 43% $409,938

LONGSHOT STORM THE HILL RALLIES TO TAKE GRADE III, $100,000 WILSHIRE STAKES BY 1 ½ LENGTHS UNDER BEJARANO; TRAINED BY D’AMATO, SHE GETS MILE ON TURF IN 1:33.77

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 24, 2018)–With a brisk early pace laying the foundation, Storm the Hill, in her first start for Phil D’Amato rallied from mid-pack to take Santa Anita’s closing day feature on Sunday, the Grade III, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes, by 1 ½ lengths.  Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Get Stormy got a mile on turf in 1:33.77.

Unhurried early from her number seven post position, Storm the Hill was able to save ground around the Club House turn and showed a nifty turn of foot in outrunning favored Ancient Secret the final three sixteenths of a mile.

“My filly has speed, but I could see that about four horses were going early, so I decided to just save ground,” said Bejarano.  “When we got to the half mile pole, I asked her to pick it up a little and we were able to follow the favorite (stablemate Ancient Secret) around the turn.  At the top of the stretch, we were able to get the first jump on her and she gave me a big kick.”

Based a year ago in Southern California, Storm the Hill was most recently third in a high level allowance going 1 1/16 miles on turf at Churchill Downs May 12.  In her first start for D’Amato, she was off at 9-1 in a field of nine fillies and mares today and paid $21.00, $9.00 and $6.20.

“She’s been training like a good horse,” said D’Amato.  “…She came from a great trainer (Eddie Kenneally), so all I had to do was maintain her.  They were really going fast early and I thought my other filly, Ancient Secret, was in a good spot.  But I think Storm the Hill, being a little further off of that fast pace, kinda helped he come on strong.”

Owned by Alastar Thoroughbred Company, LLC and Michael Valdes, Storm the Hill notched her first graded stakes win and improved her overall mark to 20-4-1-6.  Bred in Kentucky by William B. and Kimberly S. Bradley, Storm the Hill, who is out of the Good and Tough mare Thornhill, picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $250,485.

Ridden by Geovanni Franco, Ancient Secret, who broke from the far outside and was attentive to the pace throughout, was off as the 5-2 favorite and paid $4.40 and $3.20 while finishing a half length in front of Cordiality.

Cordiality, who made a brief lead turning for home, was off at 13-1 with Tyler Baze and paid $6.20 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.82, 45.94, 1:09.69 and 1:21.79.

Live racing resumes at Santa Anita with the beginning of the 2018 Autumn Meet on Sept. 27.

ALL SOURCES HANDLE HITS $1 BILLION MARK, UP EIGHT PERCENT OVER A YEAR AGO, AS SANTA ANITA’S 102-DAY WINTER/SPRING MEET DRAWS TO A CLOSE

PERFORMANCE OF TURF COURSE KEY COMPONENT TO WINTER/SPRING SUCCESS AS CLOSING DAY PICK SIX POOL EXCEEDS $6 MILLION 

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 24, 2018)–With a closing day Pick Six pool of $6,022,040 adding an exclamation point to the conclusion of Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet, all sources pari-mutuel handle for the 102-day run dating back to Dec. 26, exceeded the $1 billion mark, an eight percent increase over a year ago.  With on-track attendance showing a one percent increase, Sunday’s all sources handle of $18,534,801, which included a near-$10 million increase over the corresponding date from a year ago, helped to contribute to a meet-end handle total of  $1,018,268,136.

Due to a more than $75 million increase in overall handle, Santa Anita announced a purse increase of 10 percent, effective June 1 through closing day, which facilitated in attracting larger, more competitive fields to close the meet out.

“We’ve said this consistently, our customers are the economic engine that drives our business,” said Tim Ritvo, Chief Operating Officer for The Stronach Group (TSG).  “We want to sincerely thank all of our fans, those here on-track and around the country for supporting our racing in such a substantial way from late December through today.

“We also want to thank the owners and trainers and all of our staff for their support and cooperation.  We have many stake holders and together, we feel we can accomplish great things and build upon what we’ve been able to establish these past six months.

“Looking forward, our goals are to provide safe surfaces and larger, more attractive fields to bet on.  We’ve very optimistic for the future and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for our Autumn Meet in late September.”

HAMMERLE CREDITS TURF SUPERINTENDENT MARTINEZ & CREW

Santa Anita’s Vice President, Racing and Racing Secretary, Rick Hammerle was quick to acknowledge the pivotal role Santa Anita’s turf course played in the Winter/Spring Meet’s overall success.

“We ran 70 more races on the grass than we did over the same time frame a year ago and we’ve got to give our Turf Superintendent Jesse Martinez and his crew a ton of credit,” said Hammerle.  “Our customers want larger, competitive fields and grass racing really helps us to provide that.  Without a doubt, the MVP’s of this meet are the main track and turf crews who gave us safe and consistent surfaces for the entire six-month season.

“To run as often as we did on the main track and turf, you need great people.  Right from the top, with our Track Superintendent Dennis Moore overseeing everything, to Jesse and his guys, they really made this happen.  Without their dedication and work ethic, and the commitment of their staff, we would not have been able to present as many turf races as we did this season and Santa Anita management is indebted to all of them.”

The following are highlights from the 2017-18 Winter/Spring Meet

Dec. 26–Opening Day

                Total Handle:  $18.3 million

Attendance:  40,023

City of Light, trained by Michael McCarthy, took the Grade I Malibu Stakes under Drayden Van Dyke.  The Grade I La Brea went to Jerry Hollendorfer’s Unique Bella, who was ridden by Mike Smith.

Feb. 18–Bob Baffert’s Justify debuts in a seven furlong maiden special weight, winning by 9 ½ lengths under Drayden Van Dyke.

March 10–Santa Anita Handicap Day

                Total Handle:  $17.2 million

Attendance:  17,377

Accelerate, trained by John Sadler and ridden by Victor Espinoza, wins the Big ‘Cap by 5 ½ lengths.  McCarthy’s City of Light takes the Grade I Triple Bend under Van Dyke by 1 ½ lengths.  The Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile goes to Phil D’Amato’s Bowies Hero, who won by a half length under Corey Nakatani.

                March 11–Justify, in his second start, stretches out to a flat mile and defeats allowance company by 6 ½ lengths under Mike Smith.

                April 7–Santa Anita Derby Day

                Total Handle:  $24.1 million

Attendance:  39,023

Justify remains unbeaten in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, winning by three lengths under Smith.  Trainer Bill Spawr’s Midnight Bisou, also ridden by Smith, takes the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks by 3 ½ lengths.

Spring portion of meet begins on April 13 and consists of 42 racing days, through June 24.

May 5–Kentucky Derby Day

                Total Handle:  $19.8 million

Attendance:  26,121

Justify becomes the 18th horse to use the Santa Anita Derby as a springboard to victory in the Kentucky Derby as Baffert and Smith again combine forces.

May 19–Preakness Day

                Total Handle:  $20 million

Attendance:  23,428

Ridden by Smith, Justify win his fifth straight overcoming a rugged speed duel and foggy conditions at Pimlico.

June 9–Belmont Day

                Total Handle:  $19 million

Attendance:  20,128

Justify joins Seattle Slew as only the second undefeated Triple Crown Champion.  With Baffert and Smith again teaming for the win, the chestnut colt by Scat Daddy becomes the 13th overall Triple Crown Champ and Baffert’s second, along with American Pharoah, who did it in 2015.

June 24–Closing Day

                Total Handle:  $18.5 million

Attendance:  12,253

With a three-day combined Pick Six carryover of $821,858 coming into closing day, “$5,200,182 in “new” money was wagered, creating a massive total Pick Six pool of $6,022,040.  This resulted in 208 winning tickets, each worth $20,255.20.  The total closing day handle of $18,534,801 marked a nearly $10 million increase over the corresponding date from 2017.

Santa Anita Daily Results and Activity

Results

Sunday, June 24
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $59,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $20,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $61,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Special Weight $59,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $75,000 $36,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Starter Stakes – $12,500 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Starter Stakes – $25,000 $40,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $59,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Wilshire S. $100,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $63,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 11 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $63,000 Overnight Overnight

 

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN & MIKE WILLMAN

  • POSTER SIGNING BRINGS OUT LONGEST LINE
  • FIRST-TIME FANS ENJOY JUSTIFY EXPERIENCE
  • LEADING RIDER PRAT PLANS TO STAY ON TOP
  • BELLA LUMA IS ‘DOING GREAT’ FOR WILSHIRE
  • PICK SIX CARRYOVER COULD EXCEED $750,000 

‘LONGEST LINE’ FOR JUSTIFY TRIPLE CROWN POSTER

            Five minutes after Santa Anita’s admission gates opened at 10 a.m. Saturday, a line estimated at more than 3,000 people had formed as racing devotees flocked to get a quick word with Justify’s Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith as he signed Triple Crown posters adjacent to the Kingsbury Fountain in the West Paddock Gardens.

“We’ve never seen anything close to this kind of response for an autographed item,” said Santa Anita Vice President, Marketing Nate Newby. “We easily had 3,000 people to start and even though we’ve encouraged about 500 of the folks at the rear to take a poster and try to get it autographed later, we’ve still got thousands of people waiting to see Mike. We printed 4,000 posters (free, with paid admission) and we’re going to run out before the first race.

“The poster is first class and so is everything about this Triple Crown story. For this horse to start out here on Feb. 18 and win the Belmont 111 days later is an achievement that’ll likely stand for all-time.

“We’re looking forward to something really special this afternoon when Justify comes out after the fourth race, and if this poster signing is any indication, we’re going to have a massive turnout for Justify himself.”

MEMORABLE SANTA ANITA EXPERIENCE FOR FIRST-TIME FANS

The buzz was louder than usual at Santa Anita’s popular gathering spot, Clockers’ Corner, Saturday morning, in anticipation of Justify going center stage in a few hours.

After all, it’s not often fans can see an undefeated Triple Crown winner up close and personal at his home track.

Two new faces among the crowd were a husband and wife from La Palma, which borders Orange County and Los Angeles County, some 32 miles and 36 minutes from Arcadia.

It was their first visit to a race track, and they came to see Justify. The man, who happened to be an amputee, was in a wheelchair, while the woman sat at a table nearby, both like children on Christmas morning, absorbing Santa Anita’s singular atmosphere in wide-eyed wonderment.

When Justify’s trainer, the readily recognizable Bob Baffert, happened to appear, the man asked if he would join them for a photo. Baffert complied. The couple was overjoyed.

Thanks to Baffert’s act of kindness, the two first-time race trackers are likely to return again and again, and at a time when racing needs all the good will and live bodies it can get, it was a gesture that serves the game well. 

PRAT FARES WELL IN DEEP JOCKEY COLONY

With only two racing days left in Santa Anita’s Spring Meet and Flavien Prat holding a

35-28 over Geovanni Franco, the 25-year-old Frenchman appears well on his way to winning the riding title, although agent Derek Lawson won’t bask in the glory until the result is official.

“Everything went well this meet,” Lawson said. “The opportunity to ride again in both the

Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby was outstanding. We’re just going to continue what we’ve been doing for the last couple of years, and that’s trying to find the best horses and riding for trainers who want us.

“We’ll try and stay on top if we possibly can, but it’s always a struggle, because this riding colony, even though people say it’s not that deep, it’s very deep.”

In the trainers’ race, Doug O’Neill holds a 31-26 lead over Phil D’Amato in quest of his fourth Santa Anita crown, winning at a creditable 23 percent clip even though he has started more horses, 132, than any other trainer. Peter Miller is second with 114 starters.

Favorites have been winning 36.57 percent of the time (132 out of 361), with an even greater propensity on dirt, 40.67 percent (85 of 209). The number falls noticeably on turf, to 30.92 percent (47 of 152).

BAY AREA INVADER ‘DOING GREAT’ FOR WILSHIRE

            Bella Luma arrived at Santa Anita in good order from the Bay Area for Sunday’s $100,000 Wilshire Stakes, in which the four-year-old California-bred filly takes on open company in quest of her fourth straight victory.

Ed Moger Jr. hopes she’s up to the task.

            “She’s doing great,” said the 62-year-old the trainer, a mainstay in California for years. “It’s a tough race but she’s as good as she can be right now, so if she’s going to do it, it’s now.”

A chestnut daughter of Ministers Wild Cat, Bella Luma won the Golden Poppy at 1 1/16 miles on grass at Golden Gate May 12. She finished fifth in two previous turf races at Santa Anita early in 2017.

The Grade III Wilshire, race nine of 11:

Beau Recall, Joe Talamo, 7-2;

Sassy Little Lila, Mike Smith, 6-1;

Shehastheritestuff, Edwin Maldonado, 30-1;

Miss Julia Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1;

Sophie P, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1;

Cordiality, Tyler Baze, 6-1;

Storm the Hill, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1;

Bella Luma, Gary Stevens, 15-1

Ancient Secret, Flavien Prat, 7-2.

 

            FINISH LINES: There is a two-day Pick Six carryover today of $160,472, with the mutuel pool expected to exceed $750,000 . . .

With exercise rider Freddie Rodriguez aboard early Saturday morning, female Eclipse Award sprint champion of 2017 Unique Bella worked five furlongs in 1:00.80, breezing, for Jerry Hollendorfer . . .

Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup winner Accelerate went four furlongs for trainer John Sadler in 48.60, while multiple Grade I winner City of Light went the same distance in 48.40 for Michael McCarthy . . .

With agent Patty Sterling calling the shots, Tiago Pereira has enjoyed a successful Santa Anita campaign, currently in fifth place with 21 victories. The 41-year-old native of Brazil miraculously escaped injury in a spill during the stretch run of the Snow Chief Stakes on June 2. “We’re very thankful for the meet we’ve had, and for escaping injury in the spill,” said Pereira, looking forward to ongoing success at Los Alamitos and then Del Mar. “We already have a place to stay in Del Mar, right off the beach, so I’m excited about that. Everything is working out fine so far.” . . .

Speedy recovery from reconstructive surgery to repair a broken left ankle to veteran turf writer Art Wilson of the Southern California News Group . . .

Santa Anita’s jockeys will participate in a moment of silence following today’s sixth race to mark the passing of Kentucky-based Corey Laneri’s wife Shantel, 42, who died unexpectedly yesterday in Louisville. Lanerie, winner of the 2014 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, is a 15-time leading rider at Churchill Downs. He and Shantel have a 10-year-old daughter, Brittlyn.

FAVORED AMERICAN ANTHEM PREVAILS BY A HEAD OVER ST. JOE BAY IN GRADE II, $250,000 SAN CARLOS STAKES AS BAFFERT & SMITH TEAM FOR SEVEN FURLONG PRIZE IN 1:22.12

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 23, 2018)–In a thrilling finish that highlighted a spectacular day, Bob Baffert’s American Anthem prevailed by what appeared to be a scant nose, but was actually labeled a head, in Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos Stakes.  Ridden by Mike Smith, American Anthem, who dueled with St. Joe Bay and Tyler Baze from the quarter pole to the wire, got seven furlongs in 1:22.12.

With St. Joe Bay breaking on top from his number two post position, American Anthem was also quickly into stride from post four and shadowed him into and around the far turn, getting on terms a quarter mile out.

“I caught such a good (break from the gate) that I just thought I needed to stay out of his way,” said Smith, who was also center stage along with Baffert and Triple Crown Champion Justify earlier in the day.  “I thought all I could do was mess it up at that point.  St. Joe Bay was running along so easy that I thought I should keep a little pressure on him, and I’m glad I did because I needed every bit of it to get by him.”

A multiple graded stakes winner coming into the San Carlos, American Anthem was most recently an impressive third condition allowance winner on June 1 at Churchill Downs and was off as the 4-5 favorite today in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up, paying $3.80, $3.00 and $2.10.

“I took him to Kentucky, ran him there and he did really well off the layoff,” said Baffert.  “But today, he looked a little heavy, I don’t know why.  He’s put on a few pounds since the last race.  I think he’s just getting better with age.

“That other horse (St. Joe Bay) was putting up a big fight and it looked like he had him put away but Anthem got him…I was talking to Mike and said ‘We got to get another win,’ because it’s pretty tough after winning a Triple Crown, but still, life goes on and you’ve got to keep winning…Big Money Mike, if he’s got the horse under him, he’s getting the job done.”

A 4-year-old colt by Bodemeister, out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy’s Windy, Bodemeister was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm and is owned by WinStar Farm, LLC, Head of Plains Partners, LLC, China Horse Club and SF Racing, LLC.

In garnering his third graded stakes win, American Anthem picked up $150,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $673,945.  His overall mark now stands at 10-5-1-2.

Claimed out of a third place finish for $62,500 on May 28, St. Joe Bay, ridden for the first time by Tyler Baze, was off at 42-1 and paid $21.00 and $12.00.

“He put a head in front two or three times,” said Baze.  “He tried so hard.  It’s not very often you get one that tries that hard.  I’m just glad I got a chance to ride him.”

Next to last after the first quarter mile, Horse Greedy, who finished 1 ¾ lengths behind the top two, rallied to finish third by 4 ¼ lengths in front of El Huerfano.  Off at 18-1, Horse Greedy paid $6.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 22.21, 44.46 and 1:09.04.

Santa Anita Daily Results and Activity

Results

Saturday, June 23
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $75,000 $61,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Allowance Optional Claiming – $75,000 $61,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Claiming – $32,000 $36,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Starter Optional Claiming – $32,000 $33,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Starter Stakes – $25,000 $40,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Starter Stakes – $12,500 $30,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $61,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $59,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 9 Maiden Claiming – $30,000 $23,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 10 Allowance Optional Claiming – $16,000 $61,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 11 San Carlos S. $250,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 12 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $33,000 Overnight Overnight



Final Entries

Sunday, June 24
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Maiden Special Weight $59,000
Race 2 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $20,000
Race 3 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $61,000
Race 4 Maiden Special Weight $59,000
Race 5 Maiden Claiming – $75,000 $36,000
Race 6 Starter Handicap – $12,500 $30,000
Race 7 Starter Handicap – $25,000 $40,000
Race 8 Maiden Special Weight $59,000
Race 9 Wilshire S. $100,000
Race 10 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $63,000
Race 11 Allowance Optional Claiming – $62,500 $63,000

SANTA ANITA NEWS BY ED GOLDEN

  • SMITH SMELLS THE ROSES AND MORE WITH JUSTIFY
  • JUSTIFY TAKES A BOW AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW
  • WISER STONE HANDS SET FOR GRADE II SAN CARLOS
  • CHROME’S BROTHER EYES STAKE AFTER MAIDEN WIN
  • D’AMATO ENTERS TWO FOR CLOSING DAY’S WILSHIRE

 

 

SMITH’S TRIPLE CROWN MEMORIES ARE EVERGREEN

Mike Smith may not be fined for excessive use of the riding crop, but he could be fined for excessive use of the Sharpie come Saturday.

That’s when the Hall of Fame jockey and regular rider of Triple Crown champion Justify will be signing posters depicting the undefeated colt’s sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

The eye-catching, high-quality posters will be free to the first 4,000 in attendance at Santa Anita Saturday while supplies last, and Smith will be available to sign them from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. adjacent to the Kingsbury Fountain in the West Paddock Gardens area.

“It’s great stuff,” the 52-year-old Smith said at Clockers’ Corner Friday morning, on a rare break from the whirlwind media hoopla that erupted following Justify’s victory in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

“It’s been crazy, but it’s all good. You hate to leave anyone out, but it seems like everyone wants to see you at the same time. It’s all fun; it’s all good. I can’t complain one bit.”

Smith is well aware that the demand for his presence, like youth, will one day fade away, but he is mature enough to enjoy the ride while he can.

“The requests for your time and participation will eventually come to an end,” he said, “but the memories always will stay with you here (tapping his hand over his heart), and that’s all that matters.”

JUSTIFY ON PARADE AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW

Triple Crown champion Justify will parade through Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens and onto the main track and Winner’s Circle between races four and five on Saturday.

The imposing chestnut son of Scat Daddy will be accompanied in the Winner’s Circle by his trainer, Bob Baffert, and his jockey, Mike Smith, who will be available to credentialed media.

Approximate post time for Saturday’s fourth race is 1:36 p.m. Pacific Time.

There will be an early first post time of 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. 

OLDER, WISER STONE HANDS SET FOR SAN CARLOS

Streaking Stone Hands goes after his third straight victory and his first stakes win Saturday in the Grade II, $250,000 San Carlos for three-year-olds and up at seven furlongs.

The four-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Tapizar trained by meet leader Doug O’Neill for principal client J. Paul Reddam was a well-beaten fifth in his only previous stakes, the Shared Belief at Del Mar last August.

“We always thought he was a nice horse when he was young,” explained O’Neill assistant Leandro Mora. “But he got a little sour, so Doug and Mr. Reddam started from scratch and it looks like he’s picking it up again. As he’s gotten a little older, maybe he’s gotten wiser.”

The San Carlos, race 11 of 12:

Top of the Game, Israel Ocampo, 15-1;

St. Joe Bay, Tyler Baze, 12-1;

El Huerfano, Geovanni Franco, 15-1

American Anthem, Mike Smith, 9-5;

Horse Greedy, Stewart Elliott, 15-1;

Touching Rainbows, Flavien Prat, 5-2;

Stone Hands, Mario Gutierrez, 4-1

 Dabster, Martin Garcia, 4-1.

 

STAKE RACE CONSIDERED FOR CALIFORNIA CHROME’S BROTHER

            Faversham, a full brother to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, broke his maiden impressively Thursday, winning at one mile on turf by 3 ¼ lengths under Tiago Pereira.

It was the sixth career start for the three-year-old chestnut ridgling trained by Art Sherman, who made a rider change and removed blinkers for the race.

“He was a big overlay, but he had bad experiences in his last two races (beaten a combined margin of 26 ½ lengths),” Sherman said by phone Friday morning. “He didn’t have a clear path to run. He’d been training well and I took the blinkers off.

“I think he’ll get better as he gets older. He hasn’t realized his potential yet and he’s a Cal-bred, so that gives us lots of options. There’s a possibility he could run in the Oceanside at Del Mar (one mile on grass opening day, July 18).”

Asked if any money was gleaned other than the $35,400 winner’s share, Sherman said, “I bet on him the last two times he ran, but not yesterday. I didn’t want to jinx him.”

D’AMATO HAS TWO FOR GRADE III WILSHIRE ON CLOSING DAY

Phil D’Amato, five behind training leader Doug O’Neill with three racing days remaining in the Spring Meet, sends out Ancient Secret and Storm the Hill in Sunday’s closing day feature, the Grade III Wilshire Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up, at a mile on turf.

Ancient Secret, a five-year-old New York-bred mare, is coming off three straight races at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course, while Storm the Hill, a four-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Get Stormy, rallied for third despite lacking room in an overnight grass route at Churchill Downs on May 12.

“Ancient Secret already is a graded stakes winner on grass going long,” D’Amato pointed out, referring to the Grade II Lake George at Saratoga in July of 2016. “So I don’t think the stretch-out’s going to hurt her any.

“Storm the Hill is a new horse for me (having previously been conditioned by Eddie Kenneally) who is training very well. It looks like the right spot to see what she can do.”

The $100,000 Wilshire:

Beau Recall, Joe Talamo, 7-2;

Sassy Little Lila, Mike Smith, 6-1;

Shehastheritestuff, Edwin Maldonado, 30-1;

Miss Julia Star, Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1;

Sophie P, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1;

Cordiality, Tyler Baze, 6-1;

Storm the Hill, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1;

Bella Luma, Gary Stevens, 15-1;

Ancient Secret, Flavien Prat, 7-2.

 

FINISH LINES: Congratulations to Evin Roman on winning Thursday’s sixth race aboard Ransomed ($17.60) for trainer Sal Gonzalez. It was the first victory for the 2017 Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s outstanding apprentice since recovering from a fractured left toe suffered on April 24 . . . Speedy recovery from a broken left ankle to veteran turf writer Art Wilson of the Southern California News Group . . . James Giannone, agent for Geovanni Franco, and Derek Lawson, agent for Flavien Prat, will be Tom Quigley‘s guests, 10:50 a.m. Saturday and 11:20 a.m. Sunday, respectively, in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Among the 146 recorded workouts Friday, including 16 on the training track, was a three furlong breeze for Bob Baffert in 37.80 by Chasing Yesterday, a half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

 

SANTA ANITA STATISTICS
(Current Through Thursday, June 21)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Flavien Prat 127 35 22 20 28% 61% $1,924,374
Geovanni Franco 167 27 23 19 16% 41% $1,233,696
Joseph Talamo 152 26 25 18 17% 45% $1,461,942
Mario Gutierrez 112 23 17 19 21% 53% $1,107,963
Drayden Van Dyke 116 20 20 16 17% 48% $1,160,040
Tiago Pereira 145 20 13 21 14% 37% $736,215
Asa Espinoza 153 19 19 27 12% 42% $608,570
Stewart Elliott 144 16 19 15 11% 35% $749,739
Tyler Baze 135 15 29 12 11% 41% $819,100
Martin Pedroza 106 15 16 13 14% 42% $499,870
Franklin Ceballos 118 14 11 9 12% 29% $427,643
Kent Desormeaux 95 14 9 23 15% 48% $976,660
Trainer Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Doug O’Neill 126 30 27 18 24% 60% $1,485,458
Philip D’Amato 101 25 18 23 25% 65% $1,561,803
Peter Miller 111 24 15 17 22% 50% $1,109,404
Richard Baltas 93 15 16 12 16% 46% $790,539
Vladimir Cerin 47 11 6 7 23% 51% $376,303
John Sadler 89 10 23 14 11% 53% $862,776
Jerry Hollendorfer 74 10 9 9 14% 38% $688,237
Bob Baffert 42 10 8 6 24% 57% $758,850
Mark Glatt 60 10 8 3 17% 35% $394,710
Peter Eurton 53 10 4 9 19% 43% $409,593

YUVETSI STRETCHES OUT TO DEFEAT FAVORED VALE DORI BY 2 ½ LENGTHS IN $75,000 SANTA LUCIA STAKES; BAZE & SADLER TEAM FOR 1 1/16 MILE WIN IN 1:45.39

ARCADIA, Calif. (June 22, 2018)–Hronis Racing’s Yuvetsi, who had sprinted in her last seven starts, stretched out nicely on Friday at Santa Anita as she stalked and then vanquished heavily favored Vale Dori by 2 ½ lengths in the $75,000 Santa Lucia Stakes.  Ridden by Tyler Baze and trained by John Sadler, the 4-year-old daughter of Bodemeister got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:38.37.

With Vale Dori hustled to the early lead from her rail post position by Mike Smith, Yuvetsi was able to sit just off the favorite while in-hand around the Club House turn.  Smith stepped on the gas approaching the three eighths pole, but Yuvetsi was more than equal the challenge and she enjoyed a one length advantage three sixteenth of a mile from home and coasted to an easy win thereafter.

Most recently third, beaten 12 lengths in the Grade III Desert Stormer at six furlongs here on May 27, Yuvetsi was off at 6-1 in a field of seven fillies and mares three and up and paid $15.40, $6.80 and $3.60.

“We’ve been wanting to stretch this filly out,” said Sadler.  “She’s been in some trouble going short and we thought this would be a time to try two turns.  She’s got a nice pedigree (out of the Speightstown mare Mother Ruth) and winning a stake is good for her.  I want to thank David Ingordo for picking her out as a yearling.”

A $450,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Yuvetsi picked up $45,420 for the win, increasing her earnings to $161,930.  With the Santa Lucia her first added-money win, she now has an overall mark of 11-3-3-2.

Last after the first half mile, Bernina Star rallied to overtake Vale Dori for second by a half length.  Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Bernina Star was off at 9-2 and paid $4.60 and $3.00.

A Group and Grade I stakes winner, 6-year-old Vale Dori had no excuses, checking in third, 10 ¼ lengths in front of Life’s Blessings.  Off at 4-5, she paid $2.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.42, 47.32, 1:12.37 and 1:38.37.

Special early first post time for a 12-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon.  Admission gates open at 10 a.m.  For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.